Brattleboro Food Co-op and Affordable Housing

In association with Gossens Bachman Architects, Stevens & Associates provided design, costing, permitting, and contract documents for a the new Brattleboro Food Co-op and Windham Housing Trust Affordable Housing Project in downtown Brattleboro, Vermont. The original Brattleboro Food Co-op had outgrown its dated, small retail space, and the client wanted the project to embrace smart growth principles and obtain LEED certification.

The existing site, from the roadway to the banks of the Whetstone Brook, was almost completely covered with impervious surfaces. The new design increased vegetative buffers along Whetstone Brook, a grassed channel and bioretention basin, and 5,950 square feet of pervious pavers. Water quality treatment was provided for 37% of the site—33% more the regulatory requirement of 4%. An additional grassed channel and bioretention basin, as well as an underground “Stormceptor” unit, were used to provide extra treatment.

The overall size of the property combined with site constraints surrounding it did not leave room for stormwater treatment and detention. The project team was faced with reducing conditional overall imperviousness while still meeting the needs of the development. The proximity to the Whetstone Brook and adjacent public pathway created constraints on the down gradient side of the site. Much of the project site is located in the 100 year flood-plain, limiting the possibilities for building placements and other improvements.

The $10 million project provides 23,000 square feet of commercial space, 10,600 square feet of office space, and 24 units of affordable housing, mostly in one-bedroom and efficiency units in the Brattleboro Food Co-op and Affordable Housing.

Design and planning solutions included complex sequencing, adapting to downtown constraints, and addressing access, parking and traffic concerns.